January 31, 2010 Subject:
Fates Worse Than Death
A crime drama centered on young girls being lured into prostitution through a phony talent agency; though due to the censorship code prostitution isn't directly mentioned, only vaguely implied. A Good cast includes H. B. Warner (unfortunately miscast), Sarah Padden and John Archer. Gale Storm has a minor role in this, her 5th screen appearance. Unfortunately okay production values and a good cast can't save this one. The problem is a jumbled screenplay (possibly the result of censorship) that meanders along without ever reaching any peaks of excitement. Instead it just gets increasingly farfetched. Worth watching for some individual performances, but that's all.
November 18, 2008 Subject:
City of Missing Girls? or maybe "Censors GoneWild"
Okay.... we've got the Asst. D.A. trying to put the pieces together to unnerstan' why there are so many cases of missing schoolgirls; but what school? High School? Junior College? It doesn't say.... but coquettes nevertheless. And where are they really off to?.... contracted to other cities as nightclub acts? Prostitution, debauchry, Sin in the next City... Not even. Low budget tale of tenacious investigation alongsice an interferring 4th estate.
BUT - redeeming qualities? Belivable portrayals. Resaonably paced story line. And who's this as a minor character (one of the 'almost' missing girls) but a 19 year old Gale Storm. She's in maybe three or four scenes tops as a 'school'girl. She looks like a high school sophomore but like I said before just where she is in the level of educational mention never revealed. Unless you are really observant her character is pretty much that of an extra.... coulda been done by lotsa folks. She IS pretty enough of a girly-girl to attract the attention of the dirty-old-men that wanna do bad things.
An then there's Herb Vigran as (what else) a not-really-threatening heavy. He just works for the bad guy. Herb's prescence and easy going delivery give real class to elevate this offering out of mediocrity.... from a 'B' movie to a 'B+'. Herb Vigran does for this offering what coulda been done by Jesse White or William Frawley.
Nothing much here to give the kiddies nightmares but oh the possibilities for the story-line with today's what-passes-for-entertainment. Editorial license could turn this whole thing into an episode of CSI.
What we have here - is a successful effort to communicate.
October 25, 2006 Subject:
Not enough for a city
It might be more like the neighborhood of missing girls.
And not a very interesting neighborhood at that.
December 21, 2004 Subject:
Movie Of Missing The Mark.
This film is suspect since the Alexanders'(Max and Arthur) are involved in it's production, as are Elmer Clifton and Oliver Drake. We aren't too off the mark, either. A very low budget film, obviously ham-strung by the Production Code being what it was at the time, it's neither fish nor fowl as far as crime dramas go. The wide range sound system used and and sound stage this was shot on was very distracting with a lot of echo. However, still there are some good things to point out in the actors performances. Old H.B. Warner, top billed, gives a sly and humorous turn as a wise old cop. Astrid Allwyn gives a broad, comical, somewhat bitchy performance as the newspaper girl. She's an unexpected delight here. Solid Arch Hall gives an early stolid turn in the type of role he made a career of playing. Philip Van Zandt, who's picture is probably under "oily villian" in the dictionary is also quite good here. Look for newcomers, Gale Storm and Herb Vigran in small roles as well as old-timer Walter Long. The story-line is a joke, but it's watchable, for what it is, providing nothing else is on.